A former Air Force sergeant who fatally shot a Santa Cruz County sheriff’s sergeant in 2020 was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.
Steven Carrillo, 32, earlier pleaded guilty to Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38. According to a report in Lookout Santa Cruz, Gutzwiller was shot dead while he and other officers were responding to a report of a van carrying firearms and bomb-making materials in the town of Ben Lomond.
“You are a coward,” Luis Rodriguez, a California Highway Patrol officer who responded to the shooting, said in a statement addressed to the defendant and read in court. “I have come to the conclusion that I cannot forgive you.”
Rodriguez’s testimony was read by prosecutors, according to Lookout.
“The trauma I hope to fully overcome,” he said. “But I don’t know if that’s possible.”
Gutzwiller’s murder came a week after Carrillo shot and killed federal security agent David Patrick Underwood. Carrillo also pleaded guilty to killing Underwood and was sentenced to 41 years in prison.
Underwood, 53, was working as a security guard for the Federal Protective Service in an Oakland federal courthouse on May 29, 2020 when Carrillo sprayed bullets at the guard’s booth. Underwood was killed and another officer was injured.
In addition to the killings, federal authorities have accused Carrillo of being a member of the extremist “Boogaloo” movement, an anti-government group that believes a second civil war is imminent.
When Carrillo pleaded guilty to killing Underwood, he admitted that he had posted messages to Facebook the day before the shooting asking if anyone was “dry,” and claiming he was ready to act, wasn’t to talk.
He admitted to firing 19 rounds from the back of the van during the Underwood murder.
“I joined the anti-government movement and specifically wanted to commit acts of violence against federal law enforcement officials,” Carrillo said during his guilty plea in the case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-26/former-air-force-sergeant-gets-life-sentence-for-murder-of-santa-cruz-sheriff Ex-Air Force sergeant gets life for murder of sheriff’s sergeant